Tim Heidecker :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

There's a pretty good chance that the person you think of when you think of Tim Heidecker isn't the real Tim Heidecker.

Since emerging in the early 2000s with Adult Swim's Tom Goes to the Mayor, Heidecker has consistently and deliberately blurred the lines between reality and fiction on shows like Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Decker,  and  Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories.  Even more disorienting is his long-running  movie review show  On Cinema, where he plays a character named Tim Heidecker alongside Gregg Turkington (best known for his own creation,  Neil Hamburger). It's both a labyrinthian blend of meta-commentary and a hyper-detailed fictional universe, one that's found the alternate reality Heidecker struggling with family life, substance abuse, and most recently, going to trial for his involvement in the deaths of 20 festivalgoers at the Electric Sun Desert Music Festival. Unless you're really paying attention to the layered intricacies, it can seem like the guy's actual life is a chaotic saga, rather than the stable, domestic existence Heidecker documents on his 2016 LP, In Glendale.  On that record, he reveals perhaps the closest representation of his actual self to fans, but  he's not restricted to thematic territory musically: his most recent album, Too Dumb for Suicide, wraps up grim observations about President Donald Trump and the emergence of the alt-right in sunny, West Coast folk-pop.

This Sunday, March 4, Heidecker and Turkington host their annual Oscars special, streaming live on Adult Swim. We spoke to Heidecker  at the very end of November 2017 from his offices in Los Angeles, and broadcast our talk on the January 2018 episode of the Transmissions Podcast. To prep you for the upcoming live special, here's our conversation, transcribed, edited and condensed for clarity. It may not make the real Heidecker completely clear, but it certainly digs into what makes his comedic illusions work.

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